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ReCO2very

Logo ReCO2very

Spanish versionSpanish version

ReCO2very (Recovery of CO2 from the gaseous emissions of waste incinerators and their utilization in the production of microalgae) is a strategic RDI project conceived to find an innovative and integrated solution to reduce the emissions of CO2 from waste incineration by recovering CO2 via the cultivation of microalgae to produce biofuels and other forms of energy. It also aims to deal with the challenge that European waste treatment plants will face in the next few years in the transition towards a greener and more circular economy. The consortium that will carry out the project is comprised of six Asturian organisations: INGEMAS as the leader (Group TSK), COGERSANEOALGAE, the National Institute of Coal (INCAR-CSIC), the University of Oviedo (UNIOVI) and the Technological Institute of Materials (ITMA).

 Logo COGERSA       Logo INGEMAS_Grupo TSK     Logo Neoalgae

Logo Universidad de Oviedo          Logo INCAR          Logo ITMA

Logo Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad

ReCO2very has a budget of 901,111 €, of which 680,155 € will be provided by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness within the framework of the National RDI Programme Aimed at the Society’s Challenges - Collaborative RDI projects 2014. The project will evolve between October, 2014 and December, 2017.

 

ReCO2very project scheme

The energetic valorisation of waste is widely extended in the most developed countries of the European Union. According to Eurostat the incineration of municipal wastes in countries like Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Austria and Denmark oscillated between 35 and 54% in 2011 (in Spain only 9%). In Europe there are around 450 installations involved in the energetic valorisation of non-hazardous waste that recovered around 78 million tons of residues and emitted more than 55 million tons of CO2 in 2011. CO2 of anthropogenic origin is the main cause of climate change, which is one of the major challenges the European Union is facing. The latter has committed itself to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 20% before 2020. The introduction of even stricter regulations is also likely, with reduction targets of 40, 60 and 80% before 2030, 2040 and 2050 respectively. In fact, the EU reached an agreement on 23rd October, 2014 to reduce its greenhouse gases by 40% by 2030 and to achieve a quota of 27% renewable energy and 25% energy efficiency. The Directive 2000/76/EC on the incineration of wastes has succeeded in getting these types of installation to drastically reduce their emissions to the point where now this industrial process is subject to the most rigorous emission limits, although CO2 still remains outside the regulations. ReCO2very considers incineration installations as ideal candidates for incorporating CO2 utilisation processes since their emissions are the cleanest and most regulated in industry.

 

Foto del equipo de desarrollo de ReCO2very en las instalaciones de INGEMAS_Grupo TSK durante la reunión de lanzamiento del proyecto

The European Strategy on sustainable, competitive and safe energy and the initiative for “a Europe that uses its resources efficiently” aim to substantially modify the way in which Europe produces and consumes energy. One of the five priorities of this strategy is to develop innovative technologies that are highly productive but emit a low level of carbon by promoting new European projects of great magnitude on the sustainable production of biofuels on a large scale. ReCO2very aims to show that the gases from a waste incinerator can be used for cultivating microalgae for their subsequent application as a raw material in the production of biofuel and biogas as a step further towards an even greener energy recovery process based on the valorisation of incineration gases. The project revolves around four thematic areas:

  • Capture and concentration of CO2 from incineration gases.
  • Cultivation of microalgae by means of incineration gases.
  • Utilisation of the microalgae.
  • Plant prototype design and industrial feasibility study.

In the case of Asturias the Strategic Plan for the Management of Residues 2014–2024 proposes, apart from other infrastructures, the need to build an incineration plant with the capacity to burn 310,000 t/year for the energetic valorisation of mixed domestic/industrial waste (black bag) and of the rest fraction that cannot be recovered for the preparation of RDF (Refuse Derived Fuel). The ReCO2very project conforms to the Strategic Plan in several respects:

  • LA04 and LA22 Promotion of the RDI oriented towards the prevention and improvement of waste management and the development of cleaner and more efficient technologies.
  • LA08 Maximum utilisation of the rest fraction with minimum disposal.
  • LA22 Improvement of the waste management sector and promotion of green jobs.

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